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Former Receptionist Becomes FedEx’s First Black Female CEO

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According to an article from #Bossip Ramona Hood started as a receptionist at FedEx when she was a 19-year-old single mother. Now, nearly three decades later, she is president and chief executive officer of FedEx Custom Critical.

“I wasn’t thinking this was going to be my career and I’d be here for 28 years,” she said, according to Cleveland.com. “I was a young mother. I wanted a job that had a stable shift that would allow me to do (college) courses as appropriate.”

She assumed her role in January, becoming the first African American to head a FedEx subsidiary in the company’s 47-year history. According to Hood, mentors were a crucial part in her path from receptionist to CEO of the 600-employee subsidiary. She explained at a Mentoring Monday event at Cu wortheyahoga Community College’s Metro Campus that seeking the support of Virginia Addicott–who retired as president and CEO in December–was crucial to her ascent. Hood says she was the only African American on the executive leadership team several years ago.

“For whatever reason, I started to have issues with being the only African American. I got the whole head trash, ‘Am I worthy? Did I deserve the seat I’m seating in?’” She asked. About a month later, Addicott scheduled a meeting between Hood and some African American female executives, including one who owns her own marketing company. I had nothing to do with marketing, but it was a way for her [Addicott] to connect me with someone at a high level, who looked like me.”

Early on, it was evident that Hood had a “good strategic mind,” wasn’t “afraid to tackle hard things” and took “100% accountability for the outcome of the work,” Addicott said. “People come into your work life and sometimes you just see things in them. It is very clear that the person has the ability, the aptitude to do these things, but they hadn’t been graced with the opportunity. Ramona was one of those people.”

“I’ve had great people in my life who have put me into jobs, where other people would have said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding,’” Addicott said. “She doesn’t have this. She doesn’t have that. But they (supporters) still believed in me.”

Congratulations Ramona on making history at FedEx and in the business world as a whole.

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